January 26, 2017

Council Highlights provide a snapshot of the progress made on City programs, initiatives and on Council decision-making. For more information on each initiative, please visit the accompanying link where noted. We welcome anyone who would like to receive Council Highlights to email us at engage@victoria.ca.

Dockside Green Rezoning Application
Following a public hearing, Council adopted amendments to the Official Community Plan and Zoning Amendment Bylaws for Dockside Green, approving the Dockside Green Updated Neighbourhood Plan.  

The approved plan allows for additional uses within the proposed Sub-Areas including:

  • brewery (not more than one facility, maximum manufacturing area is 500m2)
  • distillery (not more than one facility, maximum manufacturing area is 500m2)
  • liquor retail store, as an accessory use to a distillery or a brewery (not more than two stores that shall not exceed 100m2 each in floor area)
  • kindergarten (daycare)
  • parks
  • seniors' housing - assisted living
  • seniors' housing - independent living
  • cultural facility

Clover Point Pump Station Rezoning Application
Council moved forward to Public Hearing a rezoning application which would permit the Capital Regional District to expand the existing Clover Point Pump Station, install a conveyance pipe along Dallas Road and permit public realm improvements such as interpretive signage, benches, bike racks and more. No date set for the hearing yet.

Royal McPherson Theatre Society Partner’s Project Group
The City has endorsed a work plan for the Theatre Society that will encourage more municipal participation in the project group. In addition, Council has requested that the CRD Board lift a funding freeze on capital funds for 2017.

VicPD Mental Health Strategy
The Victoria Police Department will receive $204,900 from the City for a pilot project intended to support vulnerable populations as outlined in their Mental Health Strategy. The Council motion supporting this funding noted the following conditions:

  1. Fund first year of police support for vulnerable population pilot project, $204,900 from 2016 surplus
  2. Subject to a report from police with regard to pilot project, to the satisfaction of the majority of Council, fund second year of pilot project, $204,900 from 2017 surplus
  3. That the Mayor write to Island Health and ask for them to consider funding one of the Assertive Community Treatment officers in the future
  4. That VicPD work with a cross section of community partners drawn from groups such as the downtown service providers, and Social Inclusion Advisory Committee in developing an evaluation framework for the pilot project

Accessibility Improvements 
Two new pilot projects have been approved aimed at improving accessibility in Victoria. Truncated domes, also known as curb cuts, as well as accessible pedestrian signals each received $30,000 to pilot the improvements. Council also approved that reports to Council include accessibility impacts.

Festival Improvement Grants
The City has approved $169,000 cash and $115,500 in-kind in Festival Investment Grants. The 32 festivals and celebrations that were approved for funding will add to Victoria’s vitality, vibrancy and diversity.

Short Term Vacation Rentals
Staff will be reporting back to Council on the implications of pro-actively enforcing existing bylaws where short-term vacation rentals are allowed and require a business licence. The City will also consider pro-actively enforcing bylaws where they are not allowed including condos without transient zoning and single-family dwellings (including homes and suites). The City is considering allowing owner-occupied dwellings to offer short-term vacation rentals on a temporary basis. The City is continuing to research ways to limit short-term vacation rentals, where appropriate, in order to increase rental housing stock. An enforcement strategy is under development.

2016 Regional Growth Strategy
City Council agreed toadvise the Capital Regional District (CRD) Board that the City of Victoria accepts CRD Bylaw No. 4017 to enact the 2016 Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) for the Capital Region. The Strategy is a planning document that sets out a renewed vision for the future of the region until the year 2038 through policies and objectives such as updated population projections, renewed climate change policies, a new section on food systems, a new criteria-based water servicing policy, and refined land use designations. 

Advisory Bodies to Council
Staff were directed to bring forward policy options to address process enhancements for advisory bodies to Council. Examples of advisory bodies include citizen-based advisory committees, task forces and working groups that assist the City of Victoria and provide recommendations to Council.